How to Fake a Smile For Health and Happiness

Is it good to fake a smile? Is the best thing with smiling, “fake it til’ you make it“. Or does this just lead to more repressed negative emotions that will someday boil over? This post discusses the reasons we fake a smile, when not to do it and how to do properly fake a … Read more

The Inside Job: How Happy Happens

Joy begets joy.

You probably know at least a few people who are eternal, effervescent bundles of bliss: no matter how tiring or challenging their day, they just exude happiness. And whenever they enter a room, every person inside it lights up like a holiday tree, catching some of their pleasure, if only momentarily.

Ever wonder what they’re doing differently?

Here’s their ‘secret’, according to Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis:

They were born lucky. They won the cortical lottery. Digest these quotes from the research article, Beyond the Hedonic Treadmill:

  1. Research has shown over and over again “that one’s level of well-being is reasonably stable over time (Eid & Diener, 2004).”
  2. “Behavioral genetic studies show that well-being is moderately heritable.” Identical twins raised apart “were much more similar in their levels of well-being than were dizygotic [fraternal] twins who were reared apart.” (Tellegen et al. 1988)
  3. “Whereas any single demographic factor typically correlates less than .2 with well-being reports…. personality tends to correlate much more strongly with well-being.” Personality… changes little over a person’s lifetime (Deiner & Lucas, 1999).

Hmmm. That’s great news for those born happy. Kinda sucks for me.

I definitely didn’t win the cortical lottery. 

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Book Review: Flourish – Creating a Happiness by Using the Concept of PERMA

Flourish Book Review

Want a review and summary of Martin Seligman’s book, “Flourish”?

Perhaps something with a bit of insight mixed in? If so you have come to the right place.

We humans all have the same innate desires – we all want to flourish. 

Flourish is a book from the great psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman. He wrote the books Authentic Happiness, Learned Optimism and the brand new The Hope Circuit.

He achieved his initial fame as the proponent of the theory of learned helplessness.  Seligman is also the founder of positive psychology.

Flourish has four major components I will discuss:

  1. PERMA – his new encompassing theory of happiness.
  2. Simple positivity exercises can have a profound effect when made into a habit.
  3. Success in life is based on character and motivation. IQ plays a part, but not as much as most people think.
  4. His viewpoint of psychology and psychiatry, and of the necessity of positive psychology.

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The 5 Excuses You’re Using to Sabotage Your Happiness

It is easy

Most often people do not realize they are even sabotaging their happiness. They just believe that happiness eludes them. But all too frequently if we step back and look at things from a neutral perspective we can see how we sabotage our own happiness.

Why don’t we more actively pursue happiness?

  1. We think hard work and delayed gratification will get us there.
  2. We believe its selfish.
  3. Cynicism: We think the world is already doomed and it doesn’t matter
  4. Thinking our happiness should come second.
  5. We think we’re already as happy as we’re going to get.

Each of these mentalities impedes or distorts our quest to be as happy as we can and want to be.

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The Value of Positive Psychology for Health Psychology

Did you know that how you think affects your health? That is one of the larger findings from the field of positive psychology. For example, those with a more optimistic perspective live longer, can recover from illness faster, and are more likely to engage in positive health behaviors (exercising, not smoking, etc…). This research article is a … Read more

Book Review: The 7 Day Energy Surge

Will splurging on this 7 Day Energy Surge really surge your energy levels? Maybe… if you’re lucky and if you have the discipline of a monk. For all others, expect a moderate bump. The 7 Day Energy Surge by Cynthia Cohen and Jim Karas is a great book. None of the chapters by themselves are … Read more

Book Review: Becoming the Iceman

Be prepared for the amazing story of becoming the Iceman. Becoming the Iceman is the autobiography of two people.  Wim Hof, a man who routinely goes for swims in ice water.  Completed a full marathon in the polar circle. And climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in nothing but shorts (no shoes!). Wim also set 18 world records. The second storyline is … Read more